The Network Is Your Customer

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Five Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age

David L. Rogers

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With clear analysis and practical frameworks, this book provides step-by-step guidance businesses can use to prosper in the new era of digital media

"An incredibly useful and valuable guidebook to the new consumer economy. Buy it. Learn from it. Succeed with it."—Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do

"This is the stuff that every business and nonprofit needs to embrace if they're going to succeed in a changing world."—Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR With clear analysis and practical frameworks, this book provides a strategic guide that any business or nonprofit can use to succeed in the digital age.

Marketing expert David Rogers examines how digital technologies—from smartphones to social networks—connect us in frameworks that transform our relationships to business and each other. To thrive today, organizations need new strategies—strategies designed for customer networks.

Rogers offers five strategies that any business can use to create new value:

  • ACCESS—be faster, be easier, be everywhere, be always on
  • ENGAGE—become a source of valued content
  • CUSTOMIZE—make your offering adaptable to your customer's needs
  • CONNECT—become a part of your customers' conversations
  • COLLABORATE—involve your customers at every stage of your enterprise

Rogers explains these five strategies with over 100 cases from every type and size of business—from shoes to news, and software to healthcare. In The Network Is Your Customer, he shows:

  • How Apple harnessed a host of collaborators to write apps for its iPhone
  • How IBM designed a videogame to help sell its enterprise software
  • How Ford Motors inspired an online community to build brand awareness for its new Fiesta

...and countless other cases from consumer, b2b, and nonprofit categories. 

The book outlines a process for planning and implementing a customer network strategy to match your customers, your business, and your objectives—whether you need to drive sales, to enhance innovation, to reduce costs, to gain customer insight, or to build breakthrough products and services. Because today, whatever your goals and whatever your business, the network is your customer.

David L. Rogers is executive director of BRITE and faculty director of the Digital Marketing Strategy executive program at Columbia Business School.

Find more case studies, videos, and interactive tools at

"Level-headed advice for companies contemplating a leap into the digital arena."—Kirkus

“You are holding an incredibly useful and valuable guidebook to the new customer economy. Buy it. Learn from it. Succeed with it.”—Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do

“This is the stuff that every business and nonprofit needs to embrace if they’re to succeed in a changing world.”—Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR

“I call it Listenomics. Others call it The Relationship Era. You can think of it as salvation. What David Rogers details in this compelling book is that the very forces that are destroying mass marketing—i.e., the digital revolution—also power the bright and bold future of commerce.”—Bob Garfield, host of NPR's On The Media, editor for Ad Age, author of The Chaos Scenario

The Network Is Your Customer shows in real terms how networks have changed our lives, as customers as well as citizens. The book explains how marketing and customer service demand constant engagement and commitment to customers, and it shows you how any business can meet that challenge for better returns.”—Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist

“You don't have to be a company like Google to benefit from the world going digital. With dozens of revealing case studies, Rogers shows how large and small businesses in every industry are tapping into the power of networks to drive their bottom line.”—Penry Price, Vice President, Google

“Whether you are selling software, sage advice, or snack mix, you’ll need new tools to make it in the digital age. The Network Is Your Customer reveals five new strategies that can work for all businesses.”—Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, and author of the national best seller Behind the Cloud

“If you want to thrive during the digital revolution, The Network Is Your Customer is an indispensable guide. Rather than just telling us how the world has changed, Rogers shows you what to do about it.”—Marty Homlish, Global Chief Marketing Officer, SAP AG

“Roger’s work is thought provoking and practical. It’s important reading for any marketer trying to engage the ever-evolving consumer in the digitally networked space. His synthesis of vast amounts of information and application of deep analytical rigor deliver a strategically grounded, highly relevant and, most importantly, applicable operating model.”—Antonio J. Lucio, Global CMO, Visa Inc.

“This book will shake up your business and change the way you think about the Internet. With over 100 real-world cases, Rogers shows how customer networks impact the bottom line of every business, and how you can make them work for you.”—Bernd Schmitt, CEO of the EX Group, author of Big Think Strategy

“In this groundbreaking new book, Rogers reveals the science and the psychology behind our ever more connected lives. More important, he shows how to build the products, services, and organizations of the future that your customers will flock to join.”—John Gerzema, Chief Insights Officer, Young & Rubicam, and best-selling author of The Brand Bubble and Spend Shift

“Every marketer who wants to stay relevant should read this book. Rogers shows five strategies for how customer networks can drive bottom line results at companies of every size and industry. Tap into the digital world and make the network work for you!”—Sandy Carter, Vice President Software Business Partners, IBM Corporation

“Your customers are changing your business model. Looking for answers? This book holds key insights to understanding customers in a digital world. With its five strategies, and straightforward advice for responding to change in your own business, it's a must read for any manager.”—Jeff Fleischman, Chief Digital Officer, TIAA-CREF

Rogers weaves great storytelling, compelling examples, and real business insight into an important book that transforms our understanding of 21st century business and what it will take to win in this new customer powered reality.”—Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive

“Don't miss this book. "The Network Is Your Customer," is a great choice for anyone, from entry-level to CEO, who wants to cut through the clutter and discover brilliant ways every marketer can create value in the age of the Web. With dozens of inspired case studies, Rogers clearly illustrates how smart brands are using digital channels to satisfy the need for individuality in consumer choice.”—John Mayo-Smith, Chief Technology Officer, R/GA

“For anyone looking to understand the future of customers in the digital age, Rogers has written a fascinating business guide. He focuses not only on the technological speed warp we're living in, but on the behaviors and motivations that give it meaning, and what organizations should be doing about it now!”—Lisa Hsia, Senior Vice President, Bravo Digital Media

“David Rogers uses great real-life case studies to show you how to stop thinking about your customers as a mass audience and start leveraging the knowledge and conversations in their networks.”—Francois Gossieaux, founder and partner, Human 1.0, and author, The Hyper-Social Organization

“In a hyperconnected world, a great switch has been flicked: the power formerly vested in boardrooms is surging to the people formerly known as consumers. Asking your customers, then, to connect only with you in yesterday’s terms—through the practice formerly known as mass marketing—is a surefire recipe for irrelevance. So if you want to understand why your customers might be tuning you out—and how to start tuning into the thicker, stronger, more meaningful signals they’re already listening to—then this thoroughly practical book should be your guide.”—Umair Haque, Director, Havas Media Lab

ISBN: 9780300188295
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
336 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
15 b/w illus.